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Why volunteer on an OJEN program? (Guest post)

This is a guest post, written by a placement student from Justice Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber.  It has been shared with permission. What an experience it has been to be apart of the OJEN team this year! As a placement student, working with OJEN has opened my eyes to a lot of things […]

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Using Theatre to Promote Legal Capability (and have a great time while you’re at it!)

When is the last time you played? I’m not talking about playing basketball or a board game or some game on your phone. I mean really played, and let go of everything! Like when you were a kid. It seems like once we hit our teen years, we stop playing games and being silly. Games […]

The Tale of the “OJEN Baby”

As my third and possibly final summer working with OJEN in Hamilton comes to a close, I am forced to reflect upon my time with OJEN and how it has come to change my life. Interestingly, I became involved with OJEN while in grade eleven, when I participated in a mock trial run by the […]

To Evaluate or Not to Evaluate – That is the Question

I’ve been in this justice education game for a while now. I’ve participated in programming for thousands of students, in classrooms, courthouse and communities.  While developing this wealth of experience I’ve frequently contemplated the question of whether feedback or evaluation given by justice sector volunteers (“JSVs” -lawyers, judges and justices of the peace) is appropriate […]

Teach with context: Using theory for a deeper understanding of law

I used to teach sociology to university students, and one of the things that I liked best about it was the chance to get them to think about really deep connections between social institutions and the cultural values from which they develop. I have done it with secondary students too. With so many of them […]

Learning Advocacy Skills to Challenge Stereotypes

Recently, I facilitated the culminating session of a six week, advocacy-based program with the residents of Humewood House Sheppard, a resource centre for young pregnant and parenting women. In this program, we worked towards applying some of the skills that professional advocates use, in order to challenge negative stereotypes and public perceptions of young mothers. […]

“Comfort with Conflict” for the Primary Grades

At the core of most legal issues is an unresolved conflict.  Indeed, conflict is an inevitable outcome of living and working with others, and whether or not it results in legal action, it affects everyone’s life at one level or other.  This is true whether one is 7 or 97 years old. Within the scope […]

This is Where We Live: Justice and Community – A Youth Perspective

This video features youth from several GTA neighbourhoods discussing their views on how the justice system impacts their own lives and their communities.  It also includes photographs taken in an OJEN/ROEJ project with Toronto Community Housing – Youth Safety Ambassadors. Funding for the video has been provided through the Vital Ideas Fund at the Toronto […]

The Importance of Justice Sector Volunteers in the Classroom

Aarika Heath practices criminal law in Brampton, Ontario but her first experience in a court room took place nine years ago as a student representing Brampton Centennial Secondary School in the Peel Region Mock Trial Tournament.  Although, at the time she was already passionate about law, she had never set foot inside a court room […]

Youth/Police Relations in Toronto: Young People Speak Out!

Police relations are a frequent topic raised by youth in OJEN/ROEJ sessions throughout the GTA.  Here are some excepts from conversations we’ve had with young people over the last few months.  All of them identified police as a negative influence in their communities and talked about a need to repair and refocus youth-police relationships in […]

The Law Teacher’s Challenge –The importance of Getting the Law Right

The job of teacher, as we know, is not just to transmit information, but of course to develop lifelong skills, engage students’ interest and build their capacity to be responsible citizens. I maintain that the challenge for the law teacher is a little bit more difficult than in other subject areas. Students in a law […]

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